The animal rights advocacy group known as PETA has released a statement regarding the NIV 2011 Bible translation. That's right, now we have to hear from yet another group who have no concept of biblical translation or hermeneutical theory on what is and is not acceptable as Scripture.
PETA is calling for the removal of "speciesist language" - which ultimately means that the Bible should use personal pronouns ("he" or "she") instead of the current rendering of "it" when referring to animals. (Also, this would include "who" instead of "which" in the text.) In a letter written to Douglas Moo, Chair of the Committee on Bible Translation, the activist group is making the case that all of God's creatures deserve the mercy and compassion of nice words.
If you feel the need to read the letter, it may be found here.
Yes, these are the same people who place nude people on giant billboards because God's mercy and compassion for all living creatures is so important that we may ignore those other pesky passages which highlight God's desire for modesty and proper respect for the human body as his own eikon in the world.
Also, this is the same group that is calling for the tolerance of animals in the Bible but which have also failed to maintain levels of common decency in how they confront those whom they oppose. They often attack - with paint, pies-to-faces, etc. - people when they are ignored. One 2009 ad was an affront to the very religion to which they are now trying to play nice - a model posed as an angel, wearing nothing but wings and a strategically placed cross while hovering over a church building.
One thing that our culture does not lack is the abundance of people who are willing to share the expertise of their own self-righteousness, especially when lecturing the Christian community. Their letter makes a poor attempt at biblical scholarship and translation, for it cannot move beyond Genesis 1-2. The opening chapters of Scripture are clear to show that, of all of the creatures made by God, humanity alone is made in his image and given charge to rule on his behalf over all he has made.
Not only with PETA, but with many groups it has become an unfortunate reality that we should continue the outworking of self-desire more than the development of true faith.